A Ferrari feeding frenzy has erupted in Australia as fans of of the brand rush to get the first of the gorgeous all-new F8 Tributo.
The Tributo is the replacement for the 488 and has been announced with less weight, more power and high-tech bodywork to make it the Italian company’s most advanced V8 sports car yet.
It will be seen in public for the first time this week at the Geneva Auto Salon in Europe but the first down under delivers will not happen until early in 2020 – but even so, it’s already a sellout.
“We have been completely swamped. It is just silly,” Ferrari’s CEO for Australasia, Herbert Appleroth, tells Australian Business Traveller. “I’ve never seen anything like it. The interest is way stronger than the 488.” Appleroth cannot confirm pricing or fine details on the Tributo, but can tease with some of the early information.
“It is our most powerful V8 sports car ever. It is 40 kilos lighter. It has an F40-style see-through engine cover. The aerodynamics are the most advanced on a production Ferrari,” he says. “There is a lot of new technology we haven’t talked about.”
In terms of driver dynamics, Ferrari claims the Tributo raises the bar thanks to a new chassis and advanced new electronic aids to put the power to the road.
Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the F8 Tributo also starts a fresh look for the brand. It’s bold and aggressive, but also gives the car much more downforce from air being channeled into, through and around the bodywork. LED headlights also come for the first time, in one of the small details.
Ferrari says the entire cabin in its mid-engined star car sprang from a clean sheet of paper, from the steering wheel and air vents to the infotainment system and a 7-inch touchscreen display just for the passenger.
Much of the mechanical package in the Tributo has been transplanted or updated from the 488 Pista, which was the most extreme model from the previous Ferrari series. But it’s also been refined to make the car quicker but no tougher to drive or own.
The headline number is 520 kiloWatts of power, which translates to a 340km/h top speed and a 0-100km/h blast in a claimed 2.9 seconds. The result, Appleroth says, is unprecedented demand for a Ferrari.
“The first year is absolutely sold out. What’s more, more than 50 per cent of the orders are from people who are new to Ferrari.”
Although he cannot talk about prices, or the names of people on the waiting list, he can reveal the roll-out plan for Australia. “We’ll launch the car in Q3 in Australia,” Appleroth promises, “then the first Tributo arrival will be early in 2020, probably early January."